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Progress in Executive-Function From Tasks to Functions to Regions to Networks

Summary: Progress in Executive-Function
From Tasks to Functions to Regions to Networks
Adam R. Aron
University of California, San Diego
ABSTRACT--It has long been observed that damage to the
frontal cortex affects a person's ability to control thought,
behavior, and emotion while sometimes leaving funda-
mental processes such as vision, hearing, and long-term
memory intact. Such observations have led theoreticians to
suppose that a set of executive control functions exists, at
the top of the hierarchy of mental processes. To study these
executive functions and their relation to the frontal cortex
and its subregions, researchers have long employed several
now-classic cognitive tests in patients with brain damage.
Yet until recently it has proved difficult to reliably localize
the putative executive functions to discrete regions. This
article illustrates how recent progress in executive-func-
tions research has been driven by the coupling of sop-
histicated neuroscience techniques with advances in


Source: Aron, Adam - Department of Psychology, University of California at San Diego


Collections: Biology and Medicine